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Monday, April 28, 2008

Victims Movement writes to the International Criminal Court

( Translated by Amy Rose Pekol, a CSN volunteer translator)

Bogotá, April 10, 2008

 Mr. Jose Luis Ocampo
 Public Prosecutor
International Criminal Court
 Dear Sir:
 The National Movement of Victims of State Crimes (MOVICE) sends you its kind regards.
 This open letter is to inform you of the following events that have occurred in Colombia:
  1. On April 2, 2008, the Supreme Court issued an opinion in favor of the request to extradite Mr. Carlos Mario Jiménez, alias 'Macoco,' to the United States for drug-trafficking crimes.   Mr. Jiménez was a leader of the paramilitary group, AUC (United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia), and participated in the Justice and Peace Law (Law 975, which passed in 2005).  Last week, the Colombian government authorized his extradition to the United States.  Carlos Mario Jiménez is one of the most powerful paramilitary leaders.  Approximately 7,000 men in ten different departments of the country, collectively known as the Central Bolívar Bloc, acted under his command.  In one of these zones alone, in the Putumayo department, the Colombian Attorney General estimates the existence of more than 3,000 mass graves.  The bodies buried in these 3,000-plus mass graves represent only a fraction of the thousands of Macaco's victims.  In addition to vast territorial control, this paramilitary leader's power encompasses immense riches derived from drug-trafficking administration, gold mine ownership, palm oil cultivations, enormous extensions of land taken from peasants and asset laundering.
  2. One of the Colombian government's arguments for authorizing this extradition is that, in spite of being in jail and having supposedly contributed the demobilization of paramilitary structures under his control, Mr. Jiménez continued breaking the law from jail and many of his paramilitary groups have continued their activities using other names.  However, as it is widely known, by failing to meet the requirements of the provisions of Law 975 (2005), he should have lost the benefits that had been given to him under these norms and been placed under that statute.
  3. Facing the impending extradition order, MOVICE issued an appeal for a civil rights action requesting a temporary suspension of the extradition to ensure that this former paramilitary leader first answers to the  regular Colombian criminal justice system in regards to the thousands of crimes he has committed, reveals the identity of his leaders and accomplices, is sentenced and provides reparation for the victims.
  4. In a public speech on April 9, 2008, the Attorney General, Edgardo Maya Villazón, expressed his full support for the victims and their demand that the Colombian government suspends the extradition process of Mr. Jiménez until Colombian judicial proceedings first take effect in order to satisfy the rights to truth, justice and reparation.
  5. For those paramilitary leaders and members complicit in crimes against humanity, MOVICE believes that the inability to comply with Law 975 (2005) should result in a loss of benefits granted under this law and placement under ordinary justice.  Considering all of these facts, we would like to point out that the case of Mr. Carlos Mario Jiménez represents an open violation of the rights to truth, justice and reparation for thousands of people in Colombia and a situation of impunity for crimes against humanity contemplated in the Statute of Rome that governs the International Criminal Court.  We would also like to remind you there are strong indications that Carlos Mario Jiménez continued committing these crimes after he demobilized and that some of them would have been committed during the time that the Statute of Rome was in effect in Colombia.

Mr. Attorney General, we know that you have been carefully following the application of the Justice and Peace Law, just as you have applied the law in all the situations that have arisen under your jurisdiction in our country.  We are sending you this information so that there is written evidence of these events and they become part of the documentation you have on Colombia.
 Comité de Impulso
 Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado
 (National Movement of Victims of State Crimes)



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